On Wednesday, Eater deathwatched midtown eatery Kobe Club. In the interests of mercy, and learning from one's mistakes, we invited readers and restaurateurs to tell us what they'd do to salvage the venue. Herewith, our favorite submisisons.
· "Two choices: 1) The Craftsteak route: Simplify the menu, lower the prices, and cook better food. 2) The Penthouse Executive Club route: Add strippers to the already stripper-like atmosphere. Have them do tricks with the swords."
· "Rent the space to a good restaurant, and pull up a cart to serve the Kobe cheese steaks outside (I hear they're good)."
· "The best thing for Kobe Club at this point is to use the name recognition and just change it to a LA Lakers-themed restaurant celebrating the life and times of the famed All-Star. Such specials as a basketball-sized foie gras terrine and a Kobe slam-dunk burger could make the place a hit with NBA fans, who may be less, uh, selective than foodies."
· "Turn it into a cafeteria for 9 West 57th Street. 9 West is a couple of doors down and the most expensive office building in Manhattan. However, it does not have a cafeteria. Kobe Club could become a success by serving the hedge fund, private equity and investment bankers over-priced wagyu salads, lobster bisques, and wasabi mashed potatoes. I know I would enjoy having Jeffrey Chodrow whip me up a Kobe Club bacon, egg, and cheese in the morning."
· "Two words: Kobe Meatballs."
· "Nouveau Riche Marketing. This restaurant is not just for the affluent, but for the very recently affluent. I'd suggest allowing rappers shoot their videos there and toss around the name of the club (as they do 'Cristal', etc.) in their songs."
· "They should put the ceiling swords to good use. I propse a nightly sword fight--Jeffrey Chodorow vs Rocco Dispirito."
· "You're hip; we get it, but... la cuisine de verité. Stop doing crazy shit and give people honest food for a fair price."
· Tigerrt: "I think that you're over-estimating the power of bad reviews and the
sophistication of a good segment on the dining public in New York. There are a lot of tourists and natives alike that dine out for more spectacle then food and service. There a lot of people that don't have sophisticated palates, like steak, and will enjoy regaling their friends back at the office park with stories about the 2000 samurai swords hanging from the ceiling and the $400 steak (even if they only order the $40 one).
"That said, I don't think that Kobe Club will be around in three years, but it's not going to close down anytime soon. As a reality check, STK is still packing them in and it's just as ludicrous of a concept with similarly bad reviews.
"The bigger travesty in my opinion is the continued butchery of Japanese cuisine by flashy restaurateurs. There are so few places to get good Japanese food in this city that aren't chock full of California-Spider-Taco futomaki rolls, over priced 'Kobe' beef from Washington state, or something involving pyrotechnics or juggling food."
Rest assured, this full dossier has been hand-delivered to Chodorow HQ. Our thanks to all who participated; the Wagyu's on JC tonight.
· Deathwatch: Kobe Club [~E~]